Sunday, December 13, 2009

Chocolates - Mosaic Monday No. 5

I thought I would post something I love at Christmas time - and throughout the year. Chocolates! Indulge yourself in these zero calorie treats - Eye Candy has zero calories. Some of the best chocolates are available at Christmas time, but shouldn't we enjoy them throughout the year? I sell multiple chocolate photography treats in my on-line store as cards or framed photography. Stop by! Visit Mary’s The Little Red House for beautiful photo mosaics from all over.

Puppy Love - I Heart Faces No. 5

I heart faces puppy bishon teddy
I call this photo 'Puppy Love'.

It has a friend's two month old puppy (part bishon, part teddy bear) laying on a heart quilt I made
. This photo was taken in early 2009.

I sell this photo as a card in my
on-line store.

The I Heart Faces challenge is featuring photos of Pets this week. That's right, Pets, not people. I guess pets have faces too.

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Sunday, December 6, 2009

I Heart Faces No. 4 - Sweet Dreams

Anthony asleep with the Dog of his Dreams.

This photo was taken on Dec 16, 2004, the first day when we got our 1st and only dog. My son Anthony, pictured, was then 8 years old and had practiced the piano 300 times to earn the dog. The dog was earned in Fall. On Christmas day the four children (ages 10, 8, 6, and 5 at the time) opened about 28 packages of dog items, and a stuffed dog that fit into the dog crate, etc. They didn't guess what was up, but enjoyed Christmas day with their toys. The next day was super cold. I asked the children - who is up for an adventure. Two of the four, Miranda and Anthony came with me, not having any idea where we were going. We picked up our new puppy the day after Christmas, and Anthony carried him home inside his coat because of the cold. We have great videos of the children playing with the new dog, and Anthony fell asleep with the tired puppy on the hard floor.

For the first several months we worried the children would squash the dog. But Sparky fit in and thrived.

The I Heart Faces challenge is featuring photos of people sleeping this week. 

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Thursday, December 3, 2009

Christmas Stockings Show and Tell

These Christmas stockings are my "heirloom" stockings that I made almost 15 years ago.

They were for my baby boy, my husband, and me. Then I had more children, and they became the children's. Then I had four children, and I got behind. I have started, (but not completed) a fourth stocking. My 'baby' is now 10 years old.

I was originally inspired by some vintage (antique?) lace I had. I wanted to use the lace in projects that will be treasured, so that others can see the beauty of the lace too.

The above star lace with the delicate leaves at the top is one of my favorite pieces of lace. (Well, one of the favorite pieces that I own, at least). That was originally my stocking.

The next lace (shown above) is crocheted, and I have always wondered if it was crocheted by hand. Both laces came from the estate of a German relative, and both are more then 3 inches wide top to bottom

The third piece of lace I bought at a modern fabric store, and embellished with pearl beads.

The fabrics I used were fabrics from sample books I collected to use, Robert Allen and more. I loved the rich textures, but the sample pieces are usually quite small.
I pieced the stocking cloth using a foundation piecing method. These stockings should last.

I had originally planned on "Crazy Quilting" the stockings, but I could never bring myself to do it - I think it would detract from the rich fabrics and the lace.

Maybe I'll show some in-process photos from the fourth stocking - In another blog. It won't be done by St. Nicks, December 6th, unfortunately. In the Midwest, (Well, Wisconsin at least) many of the German descent people who have been here for awhile put out shoes, or stockings so that St. Nick can fill them with Candy. I think the custom is Dutch, and you are supposed to use wooden shoes, but customs morph. Anyone else out there celebrate St Nicks?

Click on the photos to see them enlarged - the detail in the lace is fantastic! (I look at these now and think the contemporary (80's) stocking shape doesn't really fit with the vintage feeling I was going for, but that is my "10 years" later opinion.)

For Show and Tell items, visit My Romantic Home (I was entry 31 out of 91)

For Transformation Thursday items, visit The Shabby Chic Cottage (I was entry 86 out of 103)

For Thrifty Thursday items, visit Thrifty Thursdays (I was entry 31 out of 34)

For Best of Crafts items, visit House of Grace (I was entry 23 out of 50)

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Christmas in Chicago!

Chicago Christmas Horse Drawn Carriage with Santa by Selep Imaging

Christkindlmarket Chicago ornaments Christmas Market ChristkindlmarktI love heading down to Chicago around Christmas time to see the decorations and absorb the atmosphere. For several years now our family has tried to get down to Chicago in December, stay over night and see sights. (The downtown Embassy Suites is our current favorite place to stay).

2008 was the first time my family and I went to the Christkindlmarket in Chicago. We took a taxi ride from our hotel to the market and back, and we went at night to see lots of lights. (The taxi ride was also a thrill for my children.)

Christkindlmarket Chicago vendor Christmas Market Christkindlmarkt

Christkindlmarket is a popular winter attraction in Chicago at the Daley Plaza - a large German market place inspired by the Christkindlmarkt
Christkindlmarket Chicago Christmas Tree at night Christkindlmarktin Germany. Many of the vendors at the Chicago market are from Germany, selling crafts, candies and food at mostly outdoor booths. Other vendors from Poland, Russia, the Holy land, South America, and Nepal (as well as a handful from the USA) make the event feel truly international.

Christkindlmarket Chicago vendor Christmas Market Christkindlmarkt

Christkindlmarket Christmas Market Christkindlmarkt ornamentsYou want to lean into the tiny booths crammed with ornaments and treasures to purchase - each open air booth usually has a heater, and the temperature outside was COLD. Numbing the toes cold.Fortunately, the candy vendor was in a heated temporary building. Inside they were roasting nuts and making something with melted chocolate, and the interior smelled heavenly.

Christkindlmarket Chicago candy vendor Christmas Market

Anthony is posing outside of his favorite vendor - the one that sold candy, of course.

I have many more outdoor Christmas photos from Chicago, enough for many more blogs. But I'll leave you with one more treasure - one of the display windows from the Tiffany store on Michigan Avenue's Magnificent Mile.

Tiffany Christmas Window Display 2008 Chicago Michigan Avenue

Pure magic, of a kind you can only see in a large city like Chicago, at Christmas time.

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